The Future of Social Networking

In The rediscovery of discretion, Andreas Kluth looks at the future of social networking:

Thanks to Facebook, many middle-aged office types were expected to join in. But there was no rule-book for how to reject the “friend” request of a boss, or whether doing so was permissible at all….This will change in 2008, as social-networking technology changes to fit human nature, rather than forcing human nature to fit the technology. The industry leaders in 2007 were really old-fashioned “walled gardens”…In place of today’s walled gardens of awkwardness, open toolkits will arise to allow anybody, with a few simple clicks, to create his or her own social network, which will be an extension of existing connections in real life….[P]eople will then not so much “join” new networks as “log on” to their existing human networks around hobbies and other passions. It will be like sitting around campfires again, only now with vastly superior tools for sharing, bonding and planning.

One thought on “The Future of Social Networking

  1. I agree that we’re moving toward making electronic platforms extensions and expressions of identity, and recognizing that identity is a social phenomenon. In the same way, though, that “the Internet” has ceased to be a discrete space in the world, social networks will cease to be distinct activities. Rather, social networks will be obligatory features of both work and leisure, and there will grow to be appropriate social rules for different uses. Endemic problems with surveillance and monitoring will continue to grow. And if we want any part of this behavior to work to promote public knowledge and action–if we want something in social networking that is analogous to “public broadcasting’ in mass media or “pubilc interest” rules in telecom–then we’ll have to mobilize as members of the public to get it.

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